Welcome, Janet. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
I believe each novel I write includes a little of myself, such as Annie Lee, a main character in my humorous, suspenseful, historical romance, The Bride List. She is fun loving, a teacher, and is a strawberry-blonde redhead. I, too, like to make funny comments, was a language arts teacher, and I am a strawberry-blonde redhead from birth. Jim Ward, one of the minor characters, was a reporter. I also am a former journalist
I also like to dress up. I feel my best in a dress and wearing a hat. Thus I love writing historical romances during the late 1800s since this was a time period where women wore beautiful gowns, donned fancy hats, and at times carried parasols. I love describing these beautiful clothes and wish I could wear some of them. Of course, I am happy I do not have to use an outhouse.
I live in Nebraska, so I feel best writing about towns and cities I know. Thus, all my stories take place in Nebraska. I can paint a picture of that primitive and simple period, and how people depended on each other. Yet people are people no matter what era you are talking about.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I do not know if you would call this quirky. However, I sing solos at church. I am not content in just singing a solo. I try to do something different to add something special to the performance.
For example, I sang the hymn, “In the Garden.” The words begin: “I come to the garden alone while the dew is still on the roses …” As I made my way to the microphone, I sang this first verse and presented congregants with flowers. The parishioners loved it!
That sounds wonderful. When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I wrote a neighborhood play when I was 10 years old. We performed it front of the neighborhood parents. I’m sure it was awful, but that was my first foray into writing.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
Since I was a former journalist, I enjoy reading non-fiction as well as fiction. However, I do not like horror or fantasy. Horror often involves blood and guts so I do not like that. Fantasy for me does not connect with reality. I do not like stories that take place in non-existent worlds.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Coffee, humor, and friends.
I love coffee. I can drink it at night without problems. It soothes my tensions. I do not drink a lot of lattes since I am not out and about every day to purchase them. But sipping on a cup quiets my spirit, and it also keeps me awake so I can write at night.
Humor always helps, especially in this topsy-turvy world. I crack jokes and my family also does some of that. You ought to hear us sometimes at our family celebrations. It keeps everyone happy.
Humor also is included in some of my novels even though the overall story is not humorous. Your characters determine this. In my first novel, Her Husband’s Secret, the main character, Owen Sias, nicknamed Red for his red hair, likes to tease those around him. For instance:
“The crisp air drifted in behind him as Red opened the door. He came over to her. His red hair swept down around his brow. He laid the dead animal on the kitchen table. ‘Here’s a goose for you to cook.’
“Edith glared at the furry, long-eared animal. She raised her face to her husband. ‘That’s a rabbit.’ She shook her head at him.
“He wrapped his arms around her waist. His cold lips pressed against hers. He took a step backward and gave a sly grin. ‘No, it’s a goose because his goose is cooked.’”
I have a group I formed after my mother’s death in 2009. It is called Circle of Friends. We share our troubles, talk politics at times, go out to eat each month, and once a year do an outing. This all helps to keep your sanity and be able to face whatever you are going through at that time.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
I have a list of names taken from gravestones. I know kind of morbid. However, I also use names found in Western movies, and believe it or not, I still have my baby name book and often use that as well. That book gives the origin of the name, and what the name means, such as the name Irene is from Greek and means serene, peaceful.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
In 2010, my story, “The Silver Lining,” placed tenth in the Writer’s Digest short story contest in the mainstream/literary category. It is available on Smashwords as a free read: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/42833
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I always have loved watching the squirrels scramble up the trees and around the yard. I think they are cute. That is until I found out they are rodents and are close cousins of the rat and mice families.
Squirrels hunt for nuts and save them for winter. They are industrious animals, and I admire that.
What is your favorite food?
For Christmas, my mother and my aunt made fudge from scratch using cocoa. That fudge is delicious but quite a feat to do. Several years ago, I learned how to prepare it, and now make it for my family and send it to out-of-state family members and friends at Christmastime. Of course, we always have enough for ourselves as well. You cannot beat it, especially if you include walnuts.
I love, love, love fudge, but I like mine with pecans. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
As a former journalist, I had to learn how to write novels. A reporter deals with facts. You do not include emotions and you limit descriptions. Journalism and novel writing are like night and day.
I remember my first novel, Her Husband’s Secret, and how warm my cheeks became in writing tender and clean love interactions. I had to put my shyness behind me and write them. This took about a year’s time to move from reporter to novelist.
However, a reporter’s background prepares you in being concise and accurate. As a journalist, you need to limit your words and not exaggerate. Short and sweet are the best news reports (as long as the story is complete) and allows for the paper to include as many advertisements as they can. Making sure my time period, dialogue, word terminology, and phrases were correct, helped me create historical romances, which were in line with that era.
Tell us about the featured book.
Slipping out of her father’s New York mansion on her wedding day, Nina Robert stands outside her home in the snow to hail a cab. Her father, a wealthy tycoon, has arranged for her to marry the son of a well-known, wealthy businessman.
Nina escapes and ends up in a small Midwest town where she meets a doctor. Love develops, but Nina’s father is determined to fulfill that marriage contract and has hired the famous Pinkerton Detective Agency to find her.
This clean, Christian, historical romance includes mystery, suspense, and is a page-turner. Those who have read it say they had no clue on how the plot played out.
The Heiress Comes to Town takes readers on a journey to small town life of 1896 before cars traveled the roadways and electricity illuminated buildings. Travel back in time and visit Nina’s yearn for freedom and her desire to marry the man she loves.
The book I’m writing right now is set in large towns in 1896. Large towns at that time in Texas had electricity, especially most businesses and wealthy homes. Please give us the first page of the book for my blog readers.
New York City, New York
Pa’s gone to get the parson! With chance on her side, Nina Robert rushed upstairs to her bedroom. Throwing off her grandmother’s ivory wedding gown and veil, she stuffed the heirlooms along with a selection of dresses, underwear, sleep attire, a small notebook and a pencil into her portmanteau then fastened the straps.
She slipped on her tan blouse and skirt with lace and satin trim. Then she put on her cloak and furry hat. Realizing she needed funds, she took her petty allowance and shoved that into her purse before she put on her gloves.
Her heart thundered in her chest as she played out the daring scene she had planned for more than a month. Taking the servants’ stairway, she climbed down the narrow steps, dragging her medium-sized wooden trunk, clad in leather behind her. It clunked as she angled it down the stairs. Did anyone hear her descent? She took a deep breath then waited a few seconds before she proceeded downward again.
Nina stood in front of the back stairs’ door, which led into the kitchen. Pans clanged and voices reverberated. Her hand shook as she grabbed the doorknob. She bit her lip, hoping against hope she would make it out of the house without anyone seeing her. She stood there a minute to gather strength. Oh Lord, help me get out of here.
The servant bells rang. Footsteps raced across the floorboards. Nina released a long breath, knowing the domestic help were being summoned into the parlor to ready things for the marriage ceremony. Nina waited until the scurried footsteps stopped.
Creaking the servants’ door open, she surveyed the room and hurried across the kitchen, scooting the chest behind her. In normal circumstances, she would have been …
How can readers find you on the Internet?
Web site: www.JanetSyasNitsick.com
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/authorjanetnitsick/
Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/janetnitsick
LinkedIn: Janet Nitsick
Thank you, Janet, for sharing your book with my blog readers and me.
Readers, here are links to the book.The Heiress Comes to Town (Bonnets and Beaus) - Paperback
The Heiress Comes to Town (Bonnets and Beaus Book 1) - Kindle
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